To give you an idea of the attention to detail paid to “Teen Wolf,” when we spoke to showrunner Jeff Davis just five days before the Season 1 finale was set to air, he was still hard at work on perfecting the episide. “We’re looking at how red the blood is in one scene,” the self-confessed control freak tells us. “I need the blood brightened up a bit.”
The blood in question, by the way, is all over the walls in that horror movie hospital scene from the preview. Lydia (Holland Roden) was gnawed on by the alpha in the first part of the finale, but Davis won’t confirm whether she turns into a werewolf before the finale is over. “You’ll have to watch episode 12!” he teases.
What we do know, though, is that two people will die in the Season 2 finale. We can’t be sure whether those two are main characters or guest stars, but you can bet we’ll be glued to our screens to find out!
When Davis wrote the finale, he hadn’t yet received word from MTV that the show had been picked up for Season 2, but he confidently included two major cliffhangers anyway. “I would be on set some days and I’d see Dylan [O’Brien] and Tyler [Posey] doing a scene, and I remember turning to someone and saying, ‘There’s no way people aren’t going to love these kids. If the writing and the production values and our god***m werewolves can match the talent and likability of these kids, then we’ll be on the air for longer than a season.”
We’d be inclined to say that the relationship between Stiles and Scott is one of the major reasons we tune into the show week after week. As Davis often remarks, the buddies are like Sam and Frodo from “Lord of the Rings.”
“Scott goes through so many ups and downs,” he says. “He becomes evil, he’s learning, and he makes a lot of mistakes. The real hero of the first season is Stiles because he’s the one who is impervious to temptation. He’s always going to do the right thing. When Scott sometimes does too much of what his heart tells him or too much of what his libido tells him, Stiles stands strong.”
Of course, our hero is in an extremely precarious situation going into the season finale. In order to save Lydia, he has to help the Alpha find Derek (Tyler Hoechlin). There’s almost no way that this can end well.
Meanwhile, Jackson (Colton Haynes) has to take Lydia to the hospital, where he encounters some danger himself. We saw Jackson in a vulnerable, emotional moment last week as he stumbled drunkenly into the woods, begging to be turned into a werewolf.
“When we were plotting Jackson’s arc in the writer’s room, I remember saying ‘I’m dying to see the scene where he’s in the middle of the woods and just begging for the Alpha to bite him.’ When he thinks it’s the alpha, it turns into the red lights of the laser scope,” Davis tells us. The powerful moment stems from Jackson’s abandonment issues. “It’s similar to children of an alcoholic, who think that in order for someone to love you and to keep them around, you have to have something of value. You have to be better than everyone else. It’s that lust for power, it’s that desire to be better, because he’s been abandoned with no idea why.”
Jackson has been one of the most pleasant surprises in Season 1. A character that could easily have been your cookie-cutter, one-dimensional high school bully has become one of the most compelling to watch on-screen. While the nuanced writing is certainly a major factor, Davis credits Haynes’ performance as well. “He’s a phenomenal actor and so underrated. He gets Twitter messages from people that say they hate him, they wish he would die, they wish Scott would beat him up — you know you’re a good actor when fans literally hate you. He’s the nicest guy. He would not hurt anyone, I’ve never seen him insult anyone, I’ve never seen him act anything like his character,” Davis says.
While he’s careful not to give too much away from the finale, Davis notes that the final 20 minutes will have us on the edge of our seats. “Wait ’til you see the end,” he teases. “When I wrote episode 12, I handed it to my line producer and I said ‘Well, tell me what’s shootable here because it’s wall-to-wall action.’ I think we pulled it off. I think people will be really pleased, and it feels like the climax of a movie, which is nice. We have a great epic ending shot, too, where I told my composer, ‘Give me the big love scene at the end of this episode, because we’ve got an epic shot,’ and he really knocked it out of the park.”
Tune in at 10 p.m. on Monday, August 15 for the Season 1 finale.